How to Adopt an Adult

How to Adopt an Adult


Questions bw Before you begin:

What laws apply?  An adult may adopt another adult as long as:

  • The person adopting is older than the person being adopted; AND
  • One of the adults lives in Clark County, NV; AND
  • If either of the adults is married, their spouses will sign and notarize a consent.

What is the process?  Both of the adults must sign and file some paperwork, and then go to a hearing where a judge can ask some questions.  The biological parents do not have to consent, but the judge may require them (or anyone else) to be notified of the hearing date.

Follow these steps to file for an adult adoption:

 Copy bw1. Fill out the forms.  You have to fill out at least 3 forms to start your case, maybe more.  

Clerk bw 2. File the forms.  Turn in your completed forms by mail, efiling, or in person to the Clerk of Court.

News 3. Publish a notice if a name change is requested.  If the adoptee wants to change their name, a notice needs to be published in a newspaper. 

Court bw 4. Attend the hearing. The parties must attend a hearing for the judge to approve the adoption. 

Checklist complete 5. After the hearing: Contact Vital Statistics to change the birth certificate. 


Copy bw 1. Fill out the forms


Family Court Cover Sheet

This form is REQUIRED.  This form asks for basic information about the parties. The Clerk of Court uses this information to open your case. 

Family Court Cover Sheet (pdf fillable) 

Petition for Adoption

This form is REQUIRED.  This form tells the judge about the adoptive parent(s) and the person to be adopted.  The adult can request a name change if desired (if you do, a notice of the name change will have to be published in the newspaper one time). The adoptive parent(s) and the person to be adopted all have to sign this form.

One or two people can ask to adopt the adult.   

Petition for Adult Adoption (pdf fillable)

Petition for Adult Adoption (pdf)


The person being adopted can ask for a name change.  However, if the adoptee has a different name than his or her birth name (due to marriage, divorce, etc.), you may want to avoid changing your name on the birth certificate.  This is because you may have to prove every version of your name (especially at the DMV when renewing your driver's license) and may have a hard time doing so if the name on your birth certificate changes.  Since your new birth certificate will be the starting point (not the end point) for your name change, it may be difficult to show how your name changed over the years. 

Spouse Consents (if applicable)

If the adoptive parent or adoptee is married, their spouse(s) must sign and notarize a consent agreeing to the adoption. 

Spouse's Consent to Adoption (pdf fillable)

Spouse's Consent to Adoption (pdf)


Setting Slip

This form is REQUIRED.  This form sets a court date for you to appear in court.  The Clerk of Court will fill in a hearing date when you file this form.  If the adoptee wants to change his/her name, make sure to ask for a court date that is at least 30 days away so that all of the name change steps can be completed in time for the hearing.

Setting Slip (pdf fillable)


Notice of Petition for Change of Name

If the adoptee wants to change his/her name, fill out this form.  This form will need to be published in a newspaper one time before the court date (this is explained further in Step 3 below). 

Notice of Petition for Change of Name (pdf) 

Notice of Petition for Change of Name (pdf fillable)


Clerk bw 2. File the Paperwork

The court charges $238 to file the papers. You can pay by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.

You can file your papers one of these ways:

  1. Online: You can file online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV. There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents as separate pdfs.  Do not upload one pdf with all of the forms included - this will significantly delay the processing.  Each form needs to be filed as its own pdf, but you can upload all of them in one submission.  Carefully follow the E-Filing Guide to avoid mistakes. 
    E-Filing Guide

  2. In person at the Family Courthouse (check our How to File page for hours and more information).
  3. By Mail: (mail takes about 6-8 weeks to process) Mail your forms and the filing fee (with check or money order made out to Clerk of Court) to:

    Family Courts and Services Center
    Attn: Clerk of Court
    601 North Pecos Road
    Las Vegas, NV 89101


News 3. Publish the Notice of Name Change (if requested)

If the adoptee wants to change his/her name, the Notice of Petition of Name Change will have to be published in the newspaper one time.  The judge cannot approve the name change if this is not done.

Contact a newspaper to arrange for publication.  The popular newspapers who can publish the notice are:

Las Vegas Review-Journal: (702) 383-0320
Nevada Legal News: (702) 382-2747

After publication is complete, the newspaper will prepare an "Affidavit of Publication."  This document must be filed with the court as proof that publication was completed.  Usually, the newspaper sends this document directly to the court for filing.  If the newspaper does not, contact the newspaper to obtain the affidavit and file it yourself.

The notice must be published at least 10 days before your court hearing.


Court bw 4. Plan for and go to the hearing

Before the Hearing

Plan for all parties and their spouses to attend the hearing. This is a special occasion and any other friends or family are welcome to attend too!

The hearing might be online or it might be in person.  If in person, arrive at the courthouse at least 20 minutes before the hearing so you have enough time to get through security and find the courtroom. 

Fill out the Decree of Adoption.  The judge can sign it right away if the hearing is in person and the adoption is approved.  

Decree of Adult Adoption (pdf fillable)

Decree of Adult Adoption (pdf)


What to Expect at the Hearing

The judge will ask some questions to make sure all the requirements for an adoption are met.  The hearing is usually short, lasting no more than 10 minutes.

At the end of the hearing, the judge will be able to sign the Decree of Adoption.  The judge might want you to Make sure to let the judge know that you brought the Decree with you so the judge can sign it right there for you.


Checklist complete 5. After the hearing: Contact Vital Statistics

Contact the Vital Statistics Office in the state where the adoptee was born to find out how to get the birth certificate changed. 

If the child was born in Nevada, do the following:

  • Visit the Nevada Vital Records forms page and download the "Report of Adoption."
  • Fill out part I and part II of the form.  Mail the form or take it to the Clerk's Office with a request for them to fill out part III.   
  • Order certified copies of the Decree of Adoption (you may need several).

Make copies of the Decree of Adoption NOW and keep them in a safe place! 

If you lose your Decree of Adoption (or give them all away to agencies), the court will not let you have any more copies without a specific written order from the judge.  This can be difficult and time-consuming, and you may have to pay another $270 to get copies later.

Get as many regular and certified copies that you think you will ever need.  You may want to get 5-10 copies just to be sure you always have some if needed.  Put them in a safe place where you can access them years later! 

  • Mail the original Report of Adoption and a certified copy of the Decree of Adoption to Vital Statistics at the address listed on the form.  They will not be returned to you, so be sure you have your own copies.  Include the required fee which includes one new birth certificate, plus fees for any additional copies you want. 

    You should receive the new birth certificate in the mail in about 4-6 weeks.

If the adoptee is changing his or her name, you will need to provide a certified copy of the Decree of Adoption and the new birth certificate to the Social Security Office.  After that, the DMV and any other agencies can change the person's name.